Jhulan Goswami, India’s bowling spearhead, turns 39 today. She made her debut in international cricket in 2002 and is still going strong. Having given up T20Is, her focus firmly lies on next year’s Women’s World Cup.
On her birthday, FPJ looks at some of her best player of the match performances:
ODI vs AUS, Mackay 2021
To understand why this game is special, it’s important to know a bit about the previous ODI: India were on course to end Australia’s record winning streak in the format when Goswami had 12 to defend. A close no-ball call after some misfields meant Australia chased down the 275-run target. In the final game, India were asked to bowl first. As economical as always, Goswami picked three wickets for just 37 runs - Rachael Haynes, Meg Lanning and Annabel Sutherland. Set 265 to win, she then came in with India needing 24 off 22. Haring between the wickets when Sneh Rana was in the middle, she eventually hit the winning four over Sophie Molineux’s head to end Australia’s streak.
ODI v ENG, Silchar 2005
Give Goswami slightly helpful conditions and watch her do her thing - this game proved to be the perfect example. India opted to ball and Goswami struck on her ninth ball, dismissing England captain Charlotte Edwards for a duck. She then proceeded to add four more wickets to her tally to pick her first fifer in internationals. Her figures read 10-3-16-5 and aptly enabled her win the player of the match award. The effort helped India seal the five-match series against England.
T20I vs AUS, Melbourne 2016
In a rain-curtailed match, Goswami yet again ran amok. She first got rid of Grace Harris for zero off her third ball in the match and then had Beth Mooney holing out to covers. She finished with two for 16 off her four overs to keep Australia to 125 for eight. India needed just 66 in ten overs as per DLS method, which they chased without loss and with five balls to spare. It was India’s first win in a bilateral series against Australia across formats.
ODI vs SA, Lucknow 2021
When the chips are down, Goswami lifts the team up. India had lost the opening match of the five-ODI series badly. Goswami yet again came to the fore in the next game, returning four wickets for just 42 runs off her ten overs. Lizelle Lee, who had struck a massive ton in the first game, Marizanne Kapp, Nadine de Klerk and Shabnim Ismail were her scalps. She used a well-disguised slower ball with a different grip to dismiss Ismail. India won the match by nine wickets, after the Proteas were bowled out for 157.
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